1964 STUDEBAKER AVANTI R2
SUPERCHARGED REAR WHEEL DRIVE
Production Years: 1962-1964
Country: United States
Number Produced: 4,647
Revealed at the 1962 New York Auto Show, the Studebaker Avanti (Italian for “Forward”), was an instant hit. However, like Talbot-Lago’s introduction of the “America” sports car, it did not generate enough buyer interest to save the declining Studebaker Corporation, which had been suffering since the 1950s.
The Avanti’s exciting design hid some conventional Studebaker engineering. The chassis was based off the Studebaker Lark, and the engine was a higher output version of Studebaker’s V8. The overall shape was developed in a matter of months by the famed Raymond Loewy design firm. The accelerated production schedule meant that there was not enough time to create production body tooling for the car, so the body was built of fiberglass.
The Avanti offered several advanced features in addition to the fiberglass body: all-wheel disc brakes, integral roll-bar, and a factory installed supercharger.
Although states required model year designations for registration purposes, Studebaker did not identify model years internally. This is due to the fact that changes to the car were incrementally made during production.